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Where Things Stand: Florida And Texas Dig Their Heels In Prime Badge
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As at least one Republican governor expresses regret over a state law that bans mask mandates at the local level, Texas and Florida’s top officials are doing the opposite.

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Where Things Stand: Ex-GOP Rep On Trump’s Legal Team Won’t Try To Block Testimony From Some Former Officials Prime Badge
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Former Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), who served on Trump’s impeachment defense team and who represented the former president in his legal bid to overturn election results in Georgia, signaled on Monday that Trump’s legal team will not block congressional requests for testimony from at least a handful of former Trump administration officials.

But there’s a caveat.

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Where Things Stand: DeSantis’ Balancing Act Prime Badge
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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R) rise to Trumpy stardom is largely tied to his defiant stance against public health measures during most of the pandemic last year.

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Where Things Stand: Mo Brooks Says He Wore Body Armor On Jan. 6. Because Of Antifa, Of Course Prime Badge
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UNITED STATES - MAY 17: Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., talks with reporters after a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the Capitol, May 17, 2016. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) was one of the first Republicans to point the finger at the amorphous “antifa” as the true culprits behind the Jan. 6 insurrection.

His tone hasn’t changed much since.

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Where Things Stand: Turning Point USA Is Targeting Teens With Anti-Vax Propaganda Prime Badge
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Turning Point USA is pushing anti-vaccine talking points as part of its fundraising efforts.

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Where Things Stand: It Was Hard To Spit Out, But Jim Jordan Confirmed He Spoke To Trump On Jan 6 Prime Badge
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Amid a stream of words delivered in his typical auctioneer fashion, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) confirmed Wednesday afternoon that he did, in fact, talk to Trump on Jan. 6.

When exactly that conversation happened — before the insurrection, during the attack, after the fact, when Congress was certifying President Joe Biden’s win — couldn’t tell ya.

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Where Things Stand: McCarthy Hides From Jan. 6 Testimony Prime Badge
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The House minority leader says he didn’t even watch the hearing he was trying to distract you from.

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Where Things Stand: Sinister Counter-Programming Prime Badge
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The first hearing of the House’s Jan. 6 select committee starts bright and early Tuesday morning, focused on testimony from key law enforcement witnesses who were defending the Capitol during the mob attack. And we’re expecting varying degrees of hay-making and counter-programming from the GOP.

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Where Things Stand: Half Of House GOPers Are Fueling Vax Skepticism Prime Badge
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Some are staying silent. Others think it’s none of your business. A handful are shamelessly promoting anti-vax rhetoric.

Half of House Republicans will not share their vaccination status, or openly refuse to get the shot.

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Where Things Stand: Garland Makes DOJ-White House Split Official Prime Badge
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on May 10, 2016 in Washington, DC.

The Justice Department and the White House have been seeking to put some distance between each other since President Biden first took office. But Attorney General Merrick Garland made it official on Wednesday.

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Where Things Stand: An Obvious Rejection Prime Badge
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision this morning to boot the two Jims from her January 6 select committee was quite the power play.

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Where Things Stand: Back To The Regularly Scheduled Programming Prime Badge
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at FOX Studios on August 31, 2015 in New York City.

It started with “Fox and Friends” host Steve Doocy on Monday morning, urging viewers to get the COVID-19 vaccine because it will “save your life” — all while his co-host Brian Kilmeade hedged that “we’re not doctors” and said the network anchors aren’t going to “go there and give you other medical advice.” (FWIW, Doocy has been a encouraging viewers to get the shot for some time now, unlike some of his co-hosts.)

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UNITED STATES - MAY 22: Lois Lerner, director of exempt organizations for the Internal Revenue Service, arrives for a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the investigation of the IRS's targeting of political groups. Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right to not testify. Lerner cause a protest from some committee members when she offered an opening statement and engaged in dialogue with members before invoking her right. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Where Things Stand: TX Dems’ Flight To DC Is Also Stalling GOP’s Anti-Critical Race Theory Bill Prime Badge
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Texas House Democrats venture to D.C. is not only keeping the state from passing restrictive voting laws during the state’s special session. It’s also at least temporarily blocking the state legislature from passing a new law that would further discourage teachers from discussing race and systemic racism in Texas classrooms.

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What’s Going on Up There? Prime Badge

I’ve written repeatedly over recent months about the politics of opacity in the Biden era. The debates that are in public are largely performative. The consequential conversations are among Senate Democrats and between Senate Democrats and the Biden White House. They are necessarily confidential and private. People who follow politics closely and feel deeply invested in the outcomes find themselves asked to take things on faith. Why didn’t they get to Wednesday’s milestone in April rather than the middle of summer? Why are Democrats still trying to find bipartisan ‘deals’ Republicans will always renege on.

I wanted to have a conversation with someone up there who can walk us through, at least in general terms, just how all this stuff is working and why it works that way. So yesterday we hosted an Inside Briefing with Sen. Brian Schatz (D) of Hawaii. We talked about all these questions and it provided a lot of helpful context to understand why these work as they do even if you don’t think it’s a good way for them to work. I learned a lot from it and I think you will too.

If you’re a member, you can watch our discussion after the jump.

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Where Things Stand: McCarthy Kisses The Ring Ahead Of Jan 6 Committee’s First Hearing Prime Badge
on May 4, 2017 in Washington, DC.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) met with the former president in New Jersey yesterday to discuss the midterms — the second such meeting the two have held since McCarthy announced from the House floor that Trump deserved at least some blame for the insurrection.

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Where Things Stand: Pence Knew He’d Be Whisked Away On Jan 6 Prime Badge
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Then-Vice President Mike Pence refused to get in a car to leave the Capitol building after being evacuated from his ceremonial office on Jan. 6, primarily because he knew it would prevent him from doing his job — certifying President Biden’s electoral college victory.

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Where Things Stand: Taxpayers Are Not Funding TX Dems’ Walkout Prime Badge
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Despite what Texas Gov. Greg Abbott claimed on Monday, the Texas Democrats walkout trip to Washington, D.C. is not a “taxpayer-paid junket.”

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Where Things Stand: It Was Always Going To Be A Lie Prime Badge
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“Just say we won.”

While former President Trump was pushing lies about voter fraud for months leading up to the 2020 election, new reporting on what occurred on election night at the White House is a reminder of the extent to which Trump’s democracy dismantling was rooted in absolutely nothing. That night, Rudy Giuliani was leading the lie-flinging charge.

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Where Things Stand: GOP Fretting About ‘Discrimination’ Against Unvaxxed Reaches New Level Prime Badge
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UNITED STATES - JANUARY 4: Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., is seen during a group photo with freshmen members of the House Republican Conference on the House steps of the Capitol on Monday, January 4, 2021. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Conservative Political Action Conference over the weekend provided lots of concerning examples of just how dystopian Republican fearmongering around the COVID-19 vaccine has become.

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Where Things Stand: Schumer Warns Colleagues To Prepare For Late Nights Prime Badge
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WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 10: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) talks to reporters following the Senate Democrats weekly policy luncheon on Capitol Hill on March 10, 2020 in Washington, DC. Democratic leadership criticized President Trumps response to the spread of the coronavirus and pushed for relief for individuals that may have to miss work from being quarantined. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Chuck Schumer

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) warned his colleagues on Friday that their beloved August recess may be in flux if they are unable to tackle his ambitious agenda in time.

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Where Things Stand: ‘Vast Majority’ Of GOP Believes Trump Incited The Insurrection Prime Badge
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UNITED STATES - JUNE 21: Reps. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., left, and Anthony Brown, D-Md., prepare for television interviews in the Capitol on Friday, June 21, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

They just don’t want to admit it.

It’s not as if you couldn’t speculate — we now know House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) blamed Trump for the insurrection the night it happened, only to crawl back to Trump’s side for the midterms. Several other prominent Republican leaders have taken similar about-face paths since January.

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Why Ashli Babbitt? Prime Badge
Where Things Stand: National Teachers Unions Vow To Defend Educators Punished Over Critical Race Theory Prime Badge
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While the conservative fever swamps’ fear mongering over critical race theory intensifies to new, unhinged heights, the nation’s largest teachers unions are vowing to stand behind educators if they are punished due to new state laws that try to limit or outright ban critical discussions on race, discrimination and the role it plays in American history.

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Where Things Stand: Biden To Address Lag In US Vaccination Goals Prime Badge
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Following the July 4th holiday weekend, President Biden has one item on his public agenda today: a speech addressing COVID-19 vaccination progress in the U.S.

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Where Things Stand: Dominion Hits Rudy On All Sides Prime Badge
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WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 19: Rudy Giuliani accuses people of voting twice as he speaks to the press about various lawsuits related to the 2020 election,  inside the Republican National Committee headquarters on November 19, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Donald Trump, who has not been seen publicly in several days, continues to push baseless claims about election fraud and dispute the results of the 2020 United States presidential election. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Dominion Voting Systems is already suing Rudy Giuliani personally for defamation. It’s now pulling the former mayor and currently suspended lawyer into its suit against Fox News.

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Where Things Stand: DeSantis Begs Trumpworld To Cancel FL Rally Prime Badge
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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is threading a weird needle.

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